On November 30, 2012, the US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania reported that former Pennsylvania State Senator Robert Mellow received 16 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $40,000 while being ordered to pay $79,806.17 in restitution.
Mellow was charged in March 2012 to trying to defraud the Pennsylvania Senate and filing a false federal income tax return. He pleaded guilty.
During the crimes, Mellow was a Senate Democratic Leader and a member of the Pennsylvania Democratic State Senate Democratic Committee and Caucus. He was also in charge of several Senate Democratic administrative offices that provided computer services, communications, and research.
From 2006 to 2010, Mellow conspired with others to misuse staff and resources of the Senate for fund-raising and campaign reasons. Mellow personally allowed false job classification and reclassification forms to be submitted for senate staff members to the chief clerk of the senate.
Mellow was able to misuse staff and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from an organization called the Friends of Bob Mellow and the Democratic State Senate Campaign Committee. The funds were ultimately used to support candidates and causes in Pennsylvania.
Mellow also filed a false federal income tax return in 2008. Mellow and others did not report income that was connected with the sale of a Peckville property where the district office for Mellow was located.
U.S. Attorney Peter J. Smith stated: “This was a terrible example and a sad betrayal of the people of northeastern Pennsylvania who he represented and the people of the state. The prosecution and the sentence that was imposed today by Judge Slomsky hopefully demonstrate that no one, including lawmakers, can be above the law.”
The case was investigated by the FBI and the IRS’s Criminal Investigations Division.
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation